Professor's House

Air Drying Your Laundry – Cheaper and Better on the Environment

One of the most invigorating sensations is sleeping the first night in clean sheets. If these sheets were hung outside to dry in the organics of wind and sun, you wake up in the morning smelling as if you bathed in sunshine. Truly one of the simple pleasures of life is the smell of line-dried clothes, towels, and sheets. Almost enough to make you consider air-drying your laundry as a rule. It might also give you pause to consider what sort of economic and environmental benefits it may have to your life

Today, the newest way to gauge appliances energy efficiency is by its Energy Star rating. The United States Government even gives homeowners who purchase an Energy Star certified appliance the ability to write it off on taxes. However, look at this statement from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA)! According to them, “the average household dryer consumes 1,079 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which amounts to 2,224 pounds of carbon dioxide. If every US household let one load of laundry air-dry, 250,000 tons of CO2 could be saved. This is equivalent to shutting down 15 nuclear power plants or cutting back coal use by 30 million tons each year.”

National Geographic has devised something called the Great energy challenge, which challenges every home owner to find out where they are spending the most energy. You can visit The Energy Challenge at http://environment.nationalgeographic.com. One of the first things you will notice is that air drying your laundry as an alternative to using the energy draining clothes dryer, is one of the first ways for any household to jump aboard the going green bandwagon and to save money. The appliances that we utilize as a convenience are not without cost, and many of them like the dryer – have grave consequences throughout the years. If every household in the world gave up their dryer, the earth’s atmosphere would see an immediate and long lasting eco-change, beneficial to every living thing that lives and breathes on earth.

There are other benefits as well to air drying your laundry. One of them is that your clothes will last longer. Most of the fabrics of today are not made to sustain the high heats of today’s fast operating clothes dryer. Consider that you are only a few degrees shy of setting your clothes on fire. This causes fabrics to wear down more quickly, meaning that you will have replace them more often. Maybe this is why clothes lasted longer decades ago, when most people did not own a clothes dryer. You know all that fuzz and dryer lint you pull off the filter after every load? Well, that’s really small bits and pieces of your clothes that are being torn apart thread by threat as you tumble dry them in the dryer. Think the gentle cycle will help? Perhaps a little, however because it takes around twice as long on gentle cycle, you can increase your electric bill by around 22% per year.

Having clothes wear out less quickly is definitely a bonus. However a going green survey on CNN indicated that even if the clothes didn’t wear out, most people would not be keeping their duds past the year mark and consider replacing clothes a result of fashion rather than need. Still, wouldn’t it be great if that favorite sweatshirt and your bath towels would see you through to retirement?

Environmentally speaking, the dryer accessories, like dryer sheets utilized to make your laundry smell better and reduce static electricity are an environmental hazard that is released into the atmosphere in droves every day, by millions of people who use a dryer.

Okay, so you aren’t convinced yet! Plus you love the way your dryer makes your clothes look so neat. And its easier, right? Well….check out these other arguments to air drying your clothes.

1. Effort speaking, the dryer doesn’t save you a whole lot of work. Hanging clothes on a line and pulling them off is no more strenuous than emptying a washer, putting the wet clothes in and folding them when they come out.

2. Static cling? It’s actually caused in the dryer. Air drying your laundry means no static cling.

3. Air drying is free.

Of course there are drawbacks. Depending on where you live you may not have the perfect outdoor weather environment to dry your laundry properly. In the wintertime you may risk frozen clothes and if you don’t have a basement, you likely don’t want clothes piling up in your kitchen. Air drying does take longer than a dryer. However, if you don’t need the clothes right away, then hanging them on the line may be a solution for some of your bigger items like sheets, towels and comforters. Even just air drying those items would promise you some sort of economic and environmental benefit.

While its true that most people don’t, and wouldn’t consider air drying their laundry on a routine basis, you still have to remain environmentally conscious. You can do your part for the environment and your electric bill by making small changes, like air drying your towels and be able to see big results. Sometimes, it isn’t just about the money, but also about what we can do for our planet.

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